A Quick Guide to the Different Types of Locks

There are many different types of locks, each with their own unique advantages and uses. Find out which lock would be best for you with this quick guide.

Even just in the category of door locks, there are so many different types of locks. Whether you’re looking to add extra security to your home or keep your possessions safe in public, you’d be wise to learn about the best locks available to you.

Knowing what the different types of locks are and how door locking mechanisms work will help you make the wisest decision when it comes to proper security. Keep reading to learn what takes to keep the unwanted out.

Different Types of Locks

Getting into the nitty-gritty of every single lock type in existence could take a while, so we’re going to focus on the most common types you’re likely to find and want to use for yourself. 

It’s no surprise that your needs for front doors are going to be very different than something like car keys and locks, but many of the foundations are the same. Let’s start breaking down the different types of locks.

Deadbolt Locks

Maybe the most common is the deadbolt lock. A deadbolt secures most external doors to buildings. It operates simply by engaging a bolt, hence the name, into the side of the wall when the key is turned. This stops the door from being opened as the bolt is locked in place.

This is a classic lock, and even with locksmith technology constantly changing, it still holds true.

Combination Locks

You’ve probably dealt with a combination lock on something like a school locker or bicycle lock. Combination locks operate by turning one or more dials that have numbers or letters on them. When the correct position is selected, a disc allows the lock to open.

Combination locks work well but it’s worth knowing that locks that use multiple dials instead of one main dial are more secure and harder to pick than others, but really crafty lock-pickers can always find a way.


Padlocks are used in many of the same situations as a combination lock. They’re great for locking down a bike or keeping a shed door or cabinets locked. Instead of a combination, they work with a key. 

A nice advantage to padlocks is that many allow for the lock to be re-keyed, letting you keep using the lock even if you lose the original key.

Jimmy-Proof Deadbolt

If you want to add a higher level of security onto your front door then a jimmy-proof deadbolt may be for you. These are often installed along with traditional deadbolts and offer extra protection from home invaders.

Many of these types of deadbolts allow you to prevent keys from being used on the outside while you are safely locked away on the inside. These operate similar to a traditional deadbolt but have dual plates on the inside of the door.

Keep Your Home and Possessions Secure

Knowing the different types of locks, you can now make the smartest decision. You don’t always have to go extreme. Traditional locks have been around so long for a reason. If you need to replace or install some new locks, contact a professional locksmith today.